(Minnesota Wild – St. Louis Blues 4-6) Mats Zuccarello (34) was very critical of himself and his teammates in the Minnesota Wild after last night’s loss to St. Louis Blues in 23 degrees below 38,000 spectators.
– I do not really have words. It’s embarrassing when you have 40,000 people who come and freeze their asses, and then we play like that, Zuccarello said on the press conference after the “Winter Classic” showdown at Target Field – a baseball stadium in Minneapolis.
Before the last period, the Blues led 6-2, and Zuccarello describes the first two periods as being “easily played out” by the Blues. Zuccarello had one assist – when Ryan Hartman scored the team’s third goal. Wild reduced twice in the last period and set the final score at 4-6.
The 34-year-old believes it is useless to explain the loss with the cold, difficult conditions and the fact that they have not played a game since December 20:
– There are no excuses … It’s cold for both teams, the ice is bumpy for both teams. We did not play smart hockey as we have done for much of the season.
It was Wild’s fifth straight loss in a season where Zuccarello and the team consistently delivered very well.
Zucca in front of a record cold away game: – Something big is happening
– Unfortunately, it happened on a big night like this. People leave their homes in the cold to support us, and then we serve them this. We have disappointed ourselves and everyone else.
The freezing cold had been announced in advance, and the measurements showed 23 degrees below zero. Zuccarello describes the experience as follows:
– I was really cold during the warm-up, but when the match starts the adrenaline kicks in. But I never think I’ve been so cold in my whole life before the last period when we were 6-2, or whatever it was. It was not a good feeling.
– The big picture now is that we have five straight losses, and we have to find our way back to the way we win and how we will play as a team, Zuccarello says.
Zuccarello has scored eight goals and added 17 assists in 25 games this season. That is, one goal point per game on average. In his best goal-scoring seasons for the New York Rangers – 2013/14, 2015/16 and 2016/17 – he scored 59 goals in 77 games, 61 goals in 81 games and 59 in 80 games, respectively.
PS! Friday night, the Minnesota Wild plays away against the Boston Bruins. Two days later, there is a home game against the Washington Capitals.